Healthy Banana Cake
Topped with a Crunch!

Healthy Banana Cake topped with a Crunch makes dessert and weight loss possible. Be the baker who can pull off healthy AND delicious.

My daughter loves this banana cake for breakfast, and I like for her to have it because it has fruit, fiber, oats and healthy cinnamon (which helps control blood sugar levels). She's always saying now that she needs her barley!

I took this cake to a leadership meeting where I'm a mentor for moms. They really liked it. I truly think this is a cake you can take anywhere, and no one would know it's made with only whole wheat and barley flour. It also has less sugar than most desserts.

We like to take a dessert and make it healthier than usual - but it still has to taste good! We have to get kids to eat it. I feel good making a cake like this for my family. And because it actually has fiber (unlike a lot of desserts), we eat less of it.

I adapted this healthy banana cake recipe from one in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook, which I am really, really loving. When you bake with "whole" flours, it helps if you let the batter rest a bit before you bake it. I usually let it sit for an hour. This lets the flours soften and taste milder.

I also used some adaptations of my famous banana bread (famous within our family, of course). To make the best banana bread, I reduce the bananas by half, replace that half with applesauce, and use cream instead of buttermilk. It turns out great, but it's not as healthy as this cake.

This crunch topping is a healthier version of a streusel topping. It has more oats and less of everything else (butter, sugar, flour).

Healthy Banana Cake Recipe

Healthy Banana Cake Recipe with Crunch Topping

Healthy Banana Cake Batter:
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, room temperature
• 2 eggs, room temperature
• 1/2 cup bananas (approximately 2 bananas)
• 1/2 applesauce (no sugar added)
• 1/2 cup cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup barley flour
• 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Crunch Topping:
• 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
• 2/3 cup oats
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup barley or white flour
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Glaze (optional):
• 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
• 3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 Tablespoon plain yogurt
• 1-3 teaspoons hot water

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 13x9 pyrex dish with oil.

Mix butter and brown sugar. Add eggs until well combined. Add bananas in pieces and let the beater mash them. Add applesauce, cream, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Fluff your flours and scoop them into your cup measure. With the mixer off, pour in flours. Add nuts on top and, with your fingers, gently mix the nuts into the flours to coat them. Now turn mixer on and mix until flours are just combined. Don't over mix. Pour into pyrex dish and set aside.

For the Crunch Topping, melt butter into a medium bowl. Add rest of topping ingredients and stir well. Crumble onto top of cake batter. If you can, let the batter sit for an hour before baking. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool.

Optional Glaze: In a small bowl, melt butter. Stir in powdered sugar, then add yogurt. Add 1 teaspoon (or less) hot water at a time and stir until the glaze glides easily off your spoon. Drip the glaze in lines or swirls onto the cake. It should flow easily off the spoon but be solid enough to hold its shape on the cake.

Enjoy Healthy Banana Cake for dessert as well as breakfast.

What makes this Healthy Banana Cake good for you?

Bananas contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals but don’t have any fat or cholesterol. Well known for containing potassium, bananas lower blood pressure. They reduce your risk of some cancers and heart disease, stroke, and kidney stones. Bananas may also help your memory and be a mood-booster.

Barley reduces cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. It promotes bowel health and slows digestion which helps blood sugar levels remain steady.

Oats contain fiber which lowers cholesterol, are low in calories, and have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Oats are proven to lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers and may lower blood pressure.

Whole Grain flours contain fiber, which provides many, many benefits. Fiber reduces cholesterol, keeps you full and lowers the amount of food you eat, prevents cancer, prevents stroke, prevents diabetes, helps asthma, and promotes healthier teeth. Whole grains provide vitamins and nutrients: several B vitamins, iron, magnesium and selenium. These are vital to your body for metabolism, building bones, using energy, building immunity, transporting oxygen, and making red blood cells.

Eggs are a health powerhouse. They are full of protein and vitamins. An egg's nutrition assists our body functions from immune system, metabolism, reproduction, nervous system, blood health, etc., etc., etc.

Cinnamon has many benefits in controlling blood sugar levels and actually lowers cholesterol. It may prevent Alzheimer's disease and help control multiple sclerosis

Walnuts lower cholesterol, contain the healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and may help us deal with stress.

Pecans are rich in antioxidants. They help lower bad cholesterol, prevent some cancers, and prevent heart disease. They are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Butter is a natural food that contains protein and vitamins B-12, A, E, D, and K. These vitamins do everything from aiding immunity, vision, metabolism, nervous system, bone health, and much more.

Vanilla contain potassium which lowers blood pressure, prevents osteoporosis and renal disease, and prevents diabetes.

Sources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-799-barley.aspx?activeingredientid=799&activeingredientname=barley

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/health-benefits-of-barley

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270680.php

Information from the American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-Greatness-of-Whole-Grains_UCM_455739_Article.jsp

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Whole-Grains-and-Fiber_UCM_303249_Article.jsp

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283659.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266069.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260288.php

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224145607.htm

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283659.php

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/132?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=butter


A Better Banana Recipe

Do you have overripe bananas sitting around your house? I don't like to throw them away, either!

Over the years, I have developed a really tasty banana bread recipe that my family always loves. But this healthy banana cake recipe now gives me a better alternative.

We like it just as well, it takes less time to cook, and it ONLY contains whole grain flours as well as less sugar.

Always keep trying to "crunch" your recipes to be healthier and healthier.

Healthy Banana appeals to everyone!

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